Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Christina Kreps

Second Advisor

Dean Saitta

Third Advisor

Nancy Wadsworth


Heritage, Memory, Monument, Recontextualization, Representation, Restorative justice


In recent years, countries in the Global North have begun to grapple with the origins of long-standing monuments and their implication about society’s present values. This project is a case study of the Denver Civil War Monument, a monument erected in 1909 to honor soldiers from Colorado who fought during the years spanning the American Civil War. A plaque on the monument which lists the Battles and Engagements includes Sand Creek. The Sand Creek Massacre was an attack on a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapaho by Colorado’s 3rd Regiment that resulted in the murder and mutilation of hundreds of members of the tribes. This thesis examines the impact of past and current efforts to recontextualize the monument and its plaque. It also focuses on how the memory of Sand Creek and the heritage built around it influences the way it is memorialized and recontextualized. Additionally, this project analyzes the successes and failures of the recontextualization efforts of other monuments born from dark historical events. By including a more diverse group of voices for these projects, focusing on restorative justice, and creating awareness about the consequences when governments try to ignore or delay needed changes, future monument recontextualization projects will be better situated for success.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Sarah Davidson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

127 pgs


Museum studies, American history